Moscow to discuss Kyrgyz military ties

Sept. 10, 2010 at 11:41 AM

MOSCOW, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Russian officials are scheduled to meet with their Kyrgyz counterparts to discuss expanding military ties, the Kremlin announced.

A delegation of Kyrgyz defense officials is set to meet with Russian officials Monday at a military base in the former Soviet republic, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Anatoly Serdyukov, the Russian defense minister, said Moscow had proposed establishing a new training center with the previous government in Bishkek but was turned down.

"We then stopped discussing this issue," he told the news agency. "Now, with the appointment of the new Kyrgyz defense minister, we have received information that the Kyrgyz side is ready to return to the issue, taking into consideration Russia's interests."

Roza Otunbayeva came to power in Bishkek after her supporters deposed Kurmanbek Bakiyev in an April coup. Otunbayeva served as the Soviet envoy to UNESCO in the 1980s.

Russian authorities said they would discuss military and naval centers in the country during their visit next week.

Moscow in July said it was considering an expansion to its air base located just outside Bishkek.

"Our state will always welcome the presence of Russian troops," head of the Kyrgyz air force Erkin Osmonov said at the time.

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